Jamie Dimon, the infamous CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is back to doing what he does best: defending the bankers of the 1% against the petulant 99%. “Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I just don’t get it,” he said at a recent investors conference. “Sometimes there’s a bad apple, yet we denigrate the whole.”
Dimon says this as if he’s not one of the baddest apples in the barrel. Let’s review a few of his misdeeds:
- Under his leadership, JPMorgan Chase “misled” investors (that’s “defrauded,” in plain English) on mortgage sales to help spur the financial crisis. The company then successfully lobbied for a $25 billion bailout and $391 billion in virtually interest-free loans.
- He leaked false information about Washington Mutual’s finances so he could buy the company at a bargain price.
- JPMorgan Chase was part of the “robo-signing” scandal in which banks foreclosed on homes without verifying that such action was legal and justified.
- He hid the fact that one of JPMorgan Chase’s risky derivatives deals, known as “Squared,” was actually designed in part by a hedge fund that bet against a good chunk of the deal.
- JPMorgan Chase recently engaged in bid-rigging and made illegal payments to win bond deals from municipal governments across the country.
Media lapdogs are marked by stenographic tendencies, sympathetic frames and a reliance on industry jargon. Politico’s latest report about Congressional Republicans working to undo looming defense cuts meets all three criteria.
The piece is accurately headlined “GOP eager to scuttle defense cuts,” and nowhere in the article is any reference to data disputing the Republicans’ assumptions. The cuts on the table only take us back to the huge 2007 levels.
By the second paragraph, the story has begun parroting partisan talking points. The so-called Republican plan will “undo hundreds of billions of dollars in defense cuts by replacing it with budget savings elsewhere,” the article by Seung Min Kim says. However that’s the last we hear of the plan’s specifics until much later when the savings are pegged at $100 billion.
It’s was like a meaningless coda, as the war contractors at Blackwater USA changed its name again, two weeks after delivering Katy Helvenston-Wettengel with another insult.
For the last eight years, Helvenston-Wettengel has been fighting for justice and accountability for the preventable death of her son, a Blackwater employee named Scott Helvenston, in Iraq.
“Child prostitution, gun-running, rendition– Blackwater has this history, but to this day, there’s been zero accountability,” Helvenston-Wettengel said. “I feel like I not only lost my son, but I lost my country.”
She spoke directly to company President and Founder Erik Prince in 2004, having got his number from a reporter. She requested Prince send her son’s contract and an incident report, which documented the mission that sent her son to his death.
“He said he’d send it Fed-Ex in a few weeks,” she said. “Blackwater said I was going to have to sue them to get it.”
Since the deficit committee officially failed to produce a plan as of last week, expect the war profiteer spin to hit the fan. Here’s an early warning of what to expect, courtesy of Reuters last week:
Failure of a special congressional committee to strike a deficit-reduction deal is expected to unleash desperate lobbying by U.S. arms makers to get lawmakers to block $600 billion in automatic cuts.
Their weapon of choice: jobs.
Unfortunately for them, War Costs’ new video exposes the truth about massive military budgets and employment: military spending is a job killer.
Congress departs for the Thanksgiving holiday having left us a gift. With the deficit committee failing to produce a plan to cut the deficit and with across-the-board cuts now the default, there remains a real chance for us to untie the Congressional straightjacket and refocus the national conversation on sustainable and constructive job creation.
The war industry knows this, and its allies in Congress are already moving to stop cuts to their piece of the federal budget, a total of $500 billion over 10 years. We’re certain the war industry’s Congressional allies are one among many things contractor CEOs are thankful for.
But as Americans take stock this Thanksgiving holiday, we thought it appropriate we expose some other turkeys that the war industry is celebrating this holiday season.
The war industry stood back with glee when it released a shoddy study that produced the sought-after deceptive headlines about defense spending, the magic sauce of job creation. There was no balance to these reports, and the War Industry should know, because they funded it!
A cursory or peer review of its content would’ve demonstrated the leaps in logic and faith taken by the Second To None lobbying front.
Your and your neighbors’ jobs, or lack thereof, are of no concern to Second To None, an association funded by the Aerospace Industries Association. Their bogus “analysis” links job creation to military spending, but it is, like so much of the Pentagon’s hawkishness, detached and devoid of context and reality (.pdf).
There’s the top 1% of wealthy Americans (bankers, oil tycoons, hedge fund managers) and there’s the top 0.01% of wealthy Americans: the military contractor CEOs.
If you’ve been following the War Costs campaign, you already know that these corporations are bad bosses, bad job creators and bad stewards of taxpayer dollars. What you may not know is that the huge amount of money these companies’ CEOs make off of war and your tax dollars places them squarely at the top of the gang of corrupt superrich choking our democracy. These CEOs want you to believe the massive war budget is about security — it’s not. The lobbying they’re doing to keep the war budget intact at the expense of the social safety net is purely about their greed.
WATSONVILLE — The streets of Watsonville echoed with chants Saturday, as nearly 400 people rallied for workers rights and against Arizona’s new anti-immigration law.
The May Day protest and rally filled Watsonville Plaza at 4 p.m. Hundreds of immigration reform supporters created signs and T-shirts demanding nondiscriminatory reform. Some of the signs read “The Pilgrims were illegal and they stayed,” and “No one is free when others are oppressed.”